From: Hessen, Germany - now living in France
...but you have to ponder the fact that the Japanese main targets were out of the way that day which does leave some doubts it has to be said
You don't need to ponder that at all. Reading is sufficient to debunk it. Samuel E. Morison lays it out plainly in the official US Navy history. Everyone from the political leadership on down through the admiralty and general staff was expecting an attack, and had been on some level of alert for weeks. The Enterprise had been sent to deliver a squadron of Wildcats to Wake I. Halsey and Nimitz had discussed the Japanese threat before Enterprise left Pearl, and Halsey was of the opinion that if his TF so much as saw a Japanese fishing boat he'd blow it out of the water (and Nimitz apparently gave him permission to do so). I *think* Saratoga was on her way back to Pearl having come up through Panama. Can't remember what Lexington was up to (doing this off top of my head). Fact checkers can correct my memory if it is off.
You mean Kimmel - when Halsey took Enterprise to Wake, Nimitz wasn't at Pearl yet. Lady Lex was en route to Midway to deliver scout bombers. Sara was at San Diego picking up her air group after overhaul at Puget Sound Naval Yard.
About the myth of the "missing main targets" see http://www.ibiblio.org/pha/myths/Missing_Carriers.html - it concludes:
"Enterprise and Lexington were out of port on Dec. 7th under orders of Adm. Kimmel, not anyone in Washington D.C. Enterprise would have made it back into port on Dec. 5th if the weather hadn't delayed her. No human being prevented her from being there on the 7th. It was widely known that she was scheduled to be there on that date. After the start of hostilities both carriers were directed to locate and engage the enemy, despite facing unknown odds. It cannot be said, then that the carriers were "safely out of port" if they are just going to be sent to look for trouble when the shooting starts.
Given the above information it is clear that there was no "grand strategy" to save the carriers by someone who "knew" that the next war would be dominated by flat-tops. It is also clear that there were 8 "old and useless" battleships in Pearl that day because one of our most respected and talented admiral ordered three of them to proceed under normal schedule and return to harbor on the 6th. And finally, it is also clear that the carriers, instead of being wrapped in cotton and stashed away in a box like fragile Christmas ornaments, were being used as warships with orders to seek, locate and destroy. If there was any conspiracy surrounding Pearl Harbor it did not include carrier conservation in its plans."
< Message edited by LargeSlowTarget -- 11/11/2012 1:30:09 AM >